We recently sat down with the Director of The Giver, Matthew Fralley to discuss his directorial debut plus what it’s like getting to work on this classic story.
Tell us a little bit about The Giver.
The Giver is a wonderful story following Jonas, an 11 year old boy who lives in a “perfect” world. He has been chosen to become the Receiver of Memories, an honor which is extremely rare in their community. While receiving memories of the world before their community was created, he finds out just how corrupt, controlling, and emotionless the community is. The Giver shows us just how valuable the freedom of choice, the feeling of emotions, and the knowledge of memories are to us.
Tell us about your company of artists.
Our group of performers are constructed of kids ages 10-17 with the exception of The Giver, who is played by an adult actor. This group has been a joy to direct. They all bring different ideas to the table and are extremely talented. It is truly wonderful to see so many new young actors hit the stage and learn the ins and outs of becoming a performer!
What are you most excited about when directing The Giver?
I remember reading this book in high school and getting the chance to bring it to the stage is quite a feat. But, this cast truly makes my job much easier. My favorite thing about working on this show is creating this world with our cast. Seeing them bring the story to life and finding the joy of being up onstage is a reward in itself. Although this play appears to be easy due to the simple set and costumes, it is challenging with the many elements of the show that need to happen throughout the piece. Our actors do a wonderful job of taking those challenging moments and turning into something beautiful.
What can audiences expect from this production of The Giver?
Audiences can expect to be pulled into this world with no color and limited choices and come to find a world beyond mixed with color, choices, and freedom. The Giver speaks about pain and loss and death, but also about excitement, beauty, and love. This is definitely a a show for middle school ages and up, but is a beautiful piece that anyone can truly enjoy.
Fill in the blank: The Giver is….
A story about the overuse of rules and control and the importance of memories, pain, and knowledge.
What’s it like working at The Growing Stage and making your directorial debut?
Working at The Growing Stage has been a blast. From growing up on this stage myself, to working here now as the Production Manager is a full circle moment for me. It’s so wonderful to see so many kids in the same place I was in not so long ago. This theater has given me a lot of firsts in the theater world. It’s only natural that I make another first in my directorial debut with these young actors in the same shoes I was in not so long ago.
About The Giver:
Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control and safe. There is no war or fear or pain. There are also no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. But when Jonas turns 12, he is chosen for special training from The Giver—to receive and keep the memories of the community. The Giver is the only person who holds the memories of real pain and real joy. Now Jonas will learn the truth about life—and the hypocrisy of his utopian world. Through this astonishing and moving adaptation, discover what it means to grow up, to grow wise, and to take control of your own destiny.
The Giver runs January 19-22 with performances on Thursday & Friday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 4:00PM and Sunday at 2:00PM.
Age Recommendation: Entire Family
About the Studio Series:
The Studio Series was initiated in the fall of 2009 and has succeeded in engaging both young, developing artists as well as our patrons. While targeted for specific-aged audiences the Studio Series offers the creative opportunity to “try out” experimental works under the direction of emerging professionals in theatre, music and dance.
The Growing Stage Studio Series program allows our company to both cultivate new talent and challenge audiences.